Books written by Ray Sullivan

Friday, 29 March 2013

Parallel Lives chapter 77

Simon was pissed off. He had supplied the two agents with the location, had beamed photos, descriptions, likely alias's, everything. All they had to do was a little detail checking.
Now the civvy police were poking their noses in and it was getting increasingly difficult to keep a cap on this operation. The man they had roughed up wasn't a problem himself, he didn't want any attention given he was in the company of a prostitute when it happened. Unfortunately a few of the other residents had decided to call the police after searching their consciences. That, the wanton vandalism of the tyres in the car park, the return of the two thugs literally kicking in the door of the room next to the one they had barged their way into earlier and the little matter of forcing the motel manager to reveal details about the guests at gun point.
Relations with the police were generally strained, but today had stretched all goodwill to breaking point. Of course Special Branch was involved with trying to solve the main problem, however it was the same old story. The Secret Service and the police were supposed to liaise with each other via the Special Branch, among other things, but invariably those officers that were good at this communication piece were replaced by officers with a penchant and ability for intelligence work, usually at the request of the Secret Service. The temptation to bolster manpower at the expense of someone else's budget was too good an opportunity to waste on 'liaison officers'. Consequently communication suffered.
The operation to locate the missing Jews, and more specifically the missing mutated bird virus, had spread the Service extremely thinly and it had only been a matter of fortune that there were two agents within driving distance of Bristol when the call had been made. Of course there were other intelligence personnel at GCHQ in Cheltenham, where the two men had been reviewing some unassociated intelligence, but Simon wasn't prepared to put untrained people on active duty. The memory of the airforce guy was a good enough justification, and he dreaded to think how things would have panned out had he succumbed to the pressure to utilise a couple of interpreters.
One thing was becoming very clear; these Howells people were not just ordinary folk. Fair enough they had the assistance of Watson, who had a lot of inside knowledge, but you just didn't outwit the Service consistently without some training.
Money, Simon had concluded, had to be it. And that may be all it would take to get Staples back. It might stick in the craw, but if it got them the intel they needed on this then so be it. If they managed to escape with their dirty money to Russia or America, assuming they could spend it there, well good luck. Not that Simon would make that part of the process easy, he just wouldn't go out of his way to make it difficult either. And if they failed then he'd happily help put the treason case together.
He shook his head, realising he was believing all the gobble-de-gook about the project. When he had sat down to be told about the research carried on by the DTRU over the years, the discovery of Staples, the rarity of usable level three-ers, he had sat with his jaw open.
They had a crisis of enormous magnitude on their plate, the operation was involving every spare man and woman in the Service, both the internal and the overseas branches, historical competitors working hand in hand like never before. The overtime budget was decimated, personnel were working effectively for free, families were wondering where their loved ones were, having not seen them for over a week. Now Simon had been told he had to divert manpower, had to draft in extra from anywhere he could, to find a man who may know something that may, possibly, give them a lead.
The science was explained in simple terms, not that it meant much to Simon, his degree was in history and modern politics. Deep down he only accepted that electricity was for real because to deny it was to deny the bonuses of modern life. To extend this scant belief in science to one that encompassed parallel universes was a leap he struggled to make.
But here he was, sucked in and squeezed dry of all scepticism, a believer. Because there was no other hope on the horizon, this was their only break, and the only alternative was to walk away from his job and his pension; that and drink bottled water for evermore. (And where does it come from, before its bottled, he asked himself). So, for arguments sake he believed, embraced the theory. But he had argued, and had been told that personnel would be used to find this man, Staples, regardless of his views. Either he would head it up or someone else would, and only one route would be positive for his career.
Perhaps he would offer them money, but perhaps he would also go out of his way to make escaping difficult after all, he thought to himself.


Copyright Ray Sullivan 2011

The characters, places and events described in this novel are fictitious and any resemblance to persons, places or events, past or present, is coincidence.  All rights reserved

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